As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the global coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions it brought are slowly easing up, and the Russian-Ukrainian war should not significantly complicate air traffic in Europe, including for Croatia, Ryanair said.
They added that plans to base three of their aircraft in Zagreb and Zadar remain firmly in place, and the recruitment of cabin crew in Croatia, particularly Zagreb stewardesses, is underway. Tadej Notersberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Lauda Europe, a company that is part of Ryanair, spoke about the current situation and plans as we move forward:
“The coronavirus crisis has disrupted air traffic in Europe a lot, but with the lifting of restrictions in most countries, we’re returning to our previous framework. We can’t say that the pandemic is something that is now firmly behind us because we’re still living with it and adapting to the situation. Reservations for the summer look very good and we’re optimistic. As our business year ends at the end of March, I still can’t say exactly what last year’s numbers of transported passengers are going to be, but they’re certainly much higher than those from 2020, and it’s also certain that we haven’t yet reached the level of 2019. However, we have indications that this year could be at the level of 2019, if not better,” said Notersberg, who is well acquainted with the Croatian market because he started his career in the neighbouring Slovenian Adria Airways.
He added that the war in Ukraine presents them with a certain challenge, but so far, it isn’t even anywhere remotely close to what COVID-19 caused, and still is causing. Ryanair had no lines to Russia, and those to Ukraine (Zagreb-Lviv has recently been removed) are currently suspended until the situation there calms down.
“We’re very satisfied with our business so far here in Croatia, and the forecasts speak of further growth. That’s why we’re now increasing our fleet and our number of flights and lines. Based on the results so far, we’re working on strategies for the next period where Croatia will be an even more desirable destination with a much larger number of air passengers,” said the director of Lauda, the only company within the Ryanair Group to fly Airbus while everyone else uses Boeing aircraft.
Due to the current and expected growth of air traffic in the Republic of Croatia, Ryanair has started (with a specialised employment company called Crewlink) the process of recruiting Zagreb stewardesses, as well as staff from Zadar. Notersberg pointed out that they plan to employ about 40 people for now, but that this is probably a process that will be constant because they will need additional staff in the future.
“We’re very pleased with last week’s response to our open day in Zagreb, and in the coming days we’re going to have two events in Zadar and another one next week again in Zagreb. In addition, we’ve opened an info desk at the Franjo Tudjman Airport in Zagreb, which will work for at least 15 days, and where all passengers and curious people will be able to learn more about job opportunities in Ryanair and register and pass a preliminary interview,” pointed out Nottersberg. This summer, Lauda Europe will operate six Airbus A320 aircraft based in Croatia.
“Over the next few years, the Ryanair Group and Lauda Europe will expand their capacities across Croatia, which will bring more traffic, new jobs and career benefits,” said Notersberg, adding that Ryanair already has Croatian employees, especially among pilots, but this is a completely different model of selection and is not related to this process.
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